The Return of Smeatomania

Hi folks! Conference season is now well and truly upon us, and it began last weekend with the arrival of the LibDems in Bournemouth. Caron had her reflections here.

However, not everyone was impressed with the week – and non-LibDems found all sorts of things to look at, such as Vince Cable’s proposed ‘mansion tax’, which left both Dave and Subrosa cold.

Nick Clegg didn’t go down too well, either. James was not impressed with his attempt to woo Green supporters. Fitaloon didn’t buy into the LibDem Leader’s Prime Ministerial aspirations, and Tom Harris was amused at the clash between Clegg’s speech and President Obama’s speech at the UN General Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Scottish LibDems had a small fracas over the independence referendum, with Kevin Lang, LibDem PPC in Edinburgh North & Leith, suggesting that the party should drop its opposition to one being held. His SNP opponent, Calum Cashley, notes Tavish Scott’s reaction, while Jeff, who lives in that constituency, points out that Scott’s smackdown is weakened somewhat by LibDem MEP George Lyon echoing the call. As it happens, Caron is what could best be described as cautiously sympathetic to the position put forward by Messrs. Lang and Lyon.

Speaking of the referendum, BellgroveBelle hails the SNP proposal to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in it, but Stuart Winton wonders how that squares with the SNP policy to restrict alcohol off-sales to ages 21 and over.

Now to a vote that (we assume) is closer than the referendum, and to the headline story: the Glasgow North East By-Election, and the candidacy of that famous banjo-er of terrorists, John Smeaton. His campaign has not got off to a flying start, and Joan McAlpine, Ideas of Civilisation and Shuggy all stick the boot in, as Smeato himself might say. Stuart Winton points out that the Jury Team, who are backing his candidacy, appear to have abandoned their open primary model in favour of bankrolling a campaign by someone the general public has heard of (though no one as yet has pointed out that fielding someone of the blue persuasion in a primarily green part of Glasgow may not be the best tactic). Yousuf, meanwhile, notes that the bookies still favour him over the Tory or LibDem candidates.

Staying on the subject, it’s worth reminding people that 1) Tommy Sheridan is a candidate in the By-Election, and that 2) is still awaiting trial for perjury. Yousuf looks at the implications of the former for the result, while Joan McAlpine notes that Tommy has sacked his lawyer, Donald Findlay QC.

Staying in Glasgow, the row over GARL and the upgrades to Dalmarnock Station continues to rumble on, with a spat developing between the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council. Anne McLaughlin isn’t impressed by Council Leader Stephen Purcell’s approach to the discussions, while Duncan is uncomfortable with Labour playing a Glaswegian Regionalist card.

Elsewhere, the resignation of Major General Andrew Mackay over the Government’s approach to the war in Afghanistan, with Fitaloon, Subrosa and Andrew Reeves all unhappy with developments there. Jess the Dog, meanwhile, flags up the point that a major factor in Mackay’s decision was the delay in a major offensive against the Taliban due to Gordon Brown’s visit.

With the second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty approaching, Jeff takes a look at events there.

Andrew Reeves, meanwhile, is angered by comments from Ali Abdussalam Treki, Libyan Minister and President of the UN General Assembly, about homosexuality.

Elsewhere, Neil Craig has been daring Liberal Democrats to respond to his accusation that they supported war crimes against the Serbs in the 1999 air strikes against Yugoslavia, and goes on to list a number of LibDem bloggers who haven’t published his comments regarding the matter on their blog.

Closer to home, Baroness Scotland – the UK Government’s Attorney General – is in the soup over having hired a woman who shouldn’t have even been in the country as a home help. Pelters are duly given to the Baroness from Angus Nicolson, Bill Cameron, Fitaloon and Jess the Dog.

And in the week before the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, Charles Clarke’s mouth has once again gone into overdrive and has issued the now repetitive call for Gordon Brown to quit. Kez issues her own call for Charles Clarke to put a sock in it.

In other news, Shuggy is not happy with how the Curriculum for Excellence is (or not) developing. Meanwhile, Yousuf wonders if sending your kids to private school is consistent with Labour values.

Meanwhile, Neil Craig asked how much money the British National Space Centre is putting into X-Prizes. As part of the BNSC’s response, he was invited to respond to a consultation on the funding and management of the UK’s extra-terrestrial activities. So he did.

Lallands Peat Worrier has a thoughtful post on the powers of Ministers to delay implementing legislation.

Stephen reports on the activities of the Menie Liberation Front.

Did you know that it’s a year since Iain Gray took over as Leader of Labour’s MSPs? Time flies. LPW has a retrospective, while Chris reckons George Foulkes is doing a better job of keeping Labour in the limelight.

It’s also a year since the birth of BBC Alba: Iain M. Hepburn takes a look at one of the channel’s biggest weaknesses.

Speaking of TV, broadcasting has been the latest theme discussed as part of the National Conversation. Dave isn’t impressed. Kez is horrified at the possible threat to Eastenders. Personally, if I were in charge, I wouldn’t just pull the plug on Eastenders, I’d actually make distributing the show a criminal offence, but different strokes for different folks.

Over at Dear Scotland, there’s a plausible attempt to apply the Glasgow and Blantyre Coma Scales to football fans, using the Kilmarnock v Rangers game as the corpus.

Tom Harris has an analysis of Parliamentary twittering.

Clairwil isn’t impressed with the overreaction to Kurt Cobain’s image being used in Guitar Hero.

Finally, over at Scotland in the Gloaming, here’s a soothing picture of the Knapps in the morning.

So that’s your lot for this week. If you want to send in a link for next week’s Roundup, you can use the dooberry on the right, or send us an e-mail to You can also follow us on Twitter: @ScottishRoundup. Bye-de-bye!

1 comment

  1. Smeato is about to find that having built him up, the media are about to knock him down – and, if they don’t succeed, I suspect that the good people of Glasgow NE will.